Big cat '˜spotted' yards away from houses in St Andrews

A BIG cat has again been reported prowling just yards from houses in St Andrews, Fife.

A big black cat has allegedly been spotted in St Andrews, Fife

Drew Lumsden says he spotted the beast as he drove daughter Kaitlyn, 7, from their home on the south-east edge of the town to her swimming class last week.

He said the black animal was the size of an Alsatian or Labrador but had a feline gait and long tail.

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Drew, who works as a landscaper, said: “I am 100 per cent certain it was a cat. It was certainly no dog.”

Big cat sightings have been reported in that area before, with a flurry in 2012.

The animal spotted last Thursday evening was in a field about 300 yards from the road near the Grange Inn.

Drew said: “I was taking my daughter to swimming just before 6pm and she saw it first.

“She thought it was a fox at first but it was no fox, it was black.

“I could tell it was a cat by its head and the length of its tail. It was walking along, as casual as anything.

“I stopped to take a photograph but it was too dark and pictures came out grey.”

The pair stopped and watched the creature for more than five minutes.

Drew, who was one of several people to spot a big cat at Rathillet a few years ago, returned the next day to look for paw prints but found none.

Four years ago there were several sightings of a creature resembling a black leopard in the same area and Lumbo Den and a wooded area near Strathkinness Low Road.

Local historian and artist David Joy said he had seen the cat several times, once just yards from his door at The Grange, and had found remains of rabbits which he said had obviously been eaten by something large.

Just a few weeks earlier there were a series of sightings reported over just a few days of a creature resembling a black leopard with a 4ft long tail around Kilmany.

Fife has previously been named a big cat hotspot, with a plethora of tales of large felines roaming the countryside.

Police revealed in 2014 that they had had 10 reports in the previous two years.

One was of a man being attacked by a big cat in Strathkinness.

Many believe in the Balbirnie Beast, said to be on the loose around the Glenrothes area.

In 2006 Fife Constabulary thought it had found proof of the animal when it produced a cast of paw print which experts said may have been from an 18-month-old big cat, but others argued it could have been a large dog.

Sightings have also been recorded at Saline, Leven, the Lomond Hills, Letham, Bishop Hill and Blairadam.